Q. How did Coco’s Gym on the Gold Coast get started?
Okay, back in the day, there was no specific gym dedicated to Strongman training.
So, when I first opened Coco’s Gym in 2014, my key focus was to provide specialists with Strongman training only. And before my gym opened, most strongmen would train in their backyard using their own equipment. However, training in your backyard also increases the likelihood of poor technique and even potential injury. At our gym, Strongman consists of support and training using the correct methods.
Of course, like everything in life and business, Coco’s Gym has evolved too.
These days, we provide specialised Strongman training and online coaching, strength and conditioning coaching, and powerlifting training at our Molendinar Gym to amateurs and professionals of all ages and genders.
Q. So, how long did it take you to become Australia’s strongest man?
It took me a long time, hey. I first started competing in the under <105kgs>. So I won the under <105kgs> Australasia Australian Strongest Man title twice.
The first title I won was in 2015. It was my second year of competing professionally, and I won it again in 2016.
After the 2016 title win, I was asking myself what’s next. Competing internationally in events like the IFBB Arnold Sports Festival, also known as the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival, seemed like the next logical step, so that’s what I did.
However, commitments at my Strongman gym took a lot of my time and energy, and it was challenging to take the necessary time off to train appropriately for world events. Plus, as a Strongman, you fund a lot of the costs yourself to attend these events.
I have many sponsors who help financially, but I do not expect them or want them to pay my way. I prefer to work and train people, pay my way and do it myself.
So I focused on building my gym and winning Australia's Strongest Man ASM title. Winning the ASM took me a long time because I went from the <105kgs> division to the open division.
The first time I competed in the ASM in 2017, I came third. The second time I competed in 2018, I won second. And in 2019, I won Australia’s Strongest Man title.
Q. So, what’s the future hold for you and Coco’s Gym?
Now that I’ve won quite a few titles, including Australia's Strongest Man title, I want to focus on and pursue other personal goals.
I’ll still compete in events I choose to, and I’m also getting older. However, competing in Strongman competitions is a younger person’s game. For now, I am at a point where I’ll focus my time and energy on bringing other personal goals to life outside of Strongman.
I’ll continue to train people in powerlifting and Strongman at Coco’s Gym. However, it feels like the right time and place to pursue and achieve my other goals, as there is more to life than just training and competing in Strongman. The tools and skills I have fine-tuned over the years apply to other interests; that’s the beauty and art of discipline; it transfers to any area of your life.